Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/10

Game 1: Tuesday, December 10th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 22nd
Game 3: Friday, February 21st
Game 4: Monday, March 3rd

Bulls 96

(19-37, 3-28 away)

Magic 110

(27-29, 17-11 home)

    7:00 PM ET, February 21, 2003

    Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 29 23 23 2196
    ORL 31 32 33 14110

    Top Performers

    Chi: J. Williams 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Orl: T. McGrady 52 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    McGrady scores career-high 52 after friend traded

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tracy McGrady's first step in getting over the departure of good friend and teammate Mike Miller was to score a career-high 52 points. And he did it without even playing in the fourth quarter.

    Tracy McGrady

    McGrady dedicated his effort to Miller, who was sent to Memphis in a trade Wednesday that brought Drew Gooden and Gordan Giricek to Orlando.

    McGrady meshed well with his new teammates as Orlando rolled to a 110-96 victory Friday night.

    "This was for my boy,'' McGrady said, pausing before adding "I've got to get over that.''

    Magic coach Doc Rivers seemed to have moved on quicker than McGrady.

    "I asked T-Mac after the game if he had any more friends,'' Rivers said, laughing. "If that's what he's gonna do every night, we're gonna trade 'em all.''

    McGrady was 15-of-32 from the field and 16-for-20 from the line to eclipse the 50 points he scored March 8 against Washington. McGrady's previous season-high was a 47-point effort Nov. 2 at Milwaukee.

    McGrady finished one point shy of tying the franchise record of 53 set by Shaquille O'Neal in the 1993-94 season. He also came up a point short of Allan Houston's NBA season-high of 53.

    "I was just feeling it tonight,'' McGrady said. "When I get it rolling like that, get me the ball because I can make a lot of things happen. That's what happened. I just felt like I couldn't miss.

    "I wanted to show my newcomers how I bring it every night.''

    They, in turn, showed the Magic what they're capable of.

    Rivers wasted no time acclimating his new players to the team, starting both. Gooden logged 34 minutes while Giricek played 43. Gooden finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, going 11-of-16 from the field. Giricek had 15 points.

    "For Gordan and Drew to come in and play that well was a huge lift,'' Rivers said. "You can see what Drew Gooden can do in the post. He's a heck of a basketball player. It's really a nice 1-2 combination with him and T-Mac on the same side of the floor.''

    Orlando led 96-75 after three quarters and Chicago never threatened with McGrady watching from the sidelines, smiling as fans screamed for Rivers to put him back in the game.

    Rivers and McGrady agreed that wouldn't have been a smart decision.

    "Because it really doesn't look good on our part,'' McGrady said. "The game was already out of reach. Who knows? Those guys could take it personally and try to hurt me. Fans wanted me to go back in, but it just wasn't professional.''

    The Bulls outshot the Magic from the field, 46 percent to 42 percent, but committed 25 turnovers that Orlando converted into 28 points. Jay Williams led Chicago with 20 points. Jalen Rose and Tyson Chandler had 16 each.

    "I felt like tonight we let Tracy McGrady really take the air out of us,'' Chandler said. "It's one thing to let somebody score 52 but it's another thing to get blown out and accept it. We were only down (11) at halftime and we could've made a run and we still could've been in the game.''

    McGrady shot 5-of-10 in each of the first two quarters and was 10-for-11 from the line for 33 at the half. He had Orlando's last 16 points of the second quarter and opened the third with a 3-pointer only 10 seconds in.

    McGrady reached 41 points on a pair of free throws with 5:33 left in the third and went 1-for-2 from the line with 3:20 remaining for his 50th point.

    He went back to the line at 2:55 amid chants of "MVP'' and hit both free throws for 52. He missed five long-range jumpers in the quarter's final minute.

    "If it was a two-, four- or six-point game, I don't know how many he would have ended up with,'' Rivers said. "I never thought that there was any chance a guy could score 70, 80, 90 points in a game, but we were sitting there thinking if this was a one-point game throughout, it might be possible.''

    Game notes

    Orlando has defeated Chicago at home nine consecutive times. ... Orlando's Jeryl Sasser did not dress for the second consecutive game because of neck and back spasms resulting from a car accident on Monday. ... McGrady tied O'Neal's franchise record of 26 consecutive games with 20 or more points. O'Neal set the mark in the 1993-94 season. ... Chicago activated Roger Mason from the injured list and placed Rick Brunson on the IL with knee tendinitis. Brunson missed the season's first 39 games because of the same ailment.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 110
    FGM-FGA 34-74 (.459) 37-88 (.420)
    3PM-3PA 2-6 (.333) 7-26 (.269)
    FTM-FTA 26-34 (.765) 29-36 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-42 11-41
    Assists 23 19
    Turnovers 25 13
    Steals 5 13
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 9 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (2/0) 26 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Jay Williams Williams
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 52
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1